Atheists in London are Braver Than American Ones

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Atheists in London are Braver Than American Ones

by baldilocks

Fill­ing in for Fausta.

When we last talked about pub­lic athe­ist Richard Dawkins, he was being ‘de-​platformed’ by Paci­fica Radio’s KPFA.

In con­trast, Dawkins spoke last week at the Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Free­dom of Con­science and Expres­sion in Lon­don, where he received a stand­ing ova­tion and an award.

This conference’s pur­pose is

[to] dis­cuss cen­sor­ship and blas­phemy laws, free­dom of and from reli­gion, apos­tasy, the lim­its of religion’s role in soci­ety, LGBT and women’s rights, athe­ism, sec­u­lar val­ues and more.

Speak­ers from coun­tries or the Dias­pora as diverse as Afghanistan, Alge­ria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, Ire­land, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nige­ria, Nor­way, Pak­istan, Pales­tin­ian Ter­ri­to­ries, Poland, Saudi Ara­bia, Sudan, Swe­den, Switzer­land, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, US and Yemen will gather in Lon­don to defend free­dom of con­science and expres­sion and argue that free­doms are not west­ern but universal.

It’s innocu­ous inter­na­tion­al­ism and athe­ism, with one sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence: these peo­ple sup­port and offer a plat­form for ex-​Muslims.

When ex-​Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in Lon­don on Sun­day, it was miss­ing her thumb.

Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015.

(…)

The cer­e­mony that recog­nised this brave woman had to be held in a secret loca­tion because Lon­don is no longer safe for ex-​Muslims, athe­ists or even sec­u­lar Mus­lim believ­ers who dare to say that Islam should not be imple­mented as a sys­tem of laws.

Let that sink in: these peo­ple had to gather in an undis­closed loca­tion.. Not in Bangladesh, but in Britain.

The next time you hear or read about Amer­i­can athe­ists whin­ing about eye­ball oppres­sion from the sight of crosses and Ten Com­mand­ment mon­u­ments, point out the state of things in the UK. I know I will.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Jour­nal­ism! —-»»>

by baldilocks

Filling in for Fausta.

When we last talked about public atheist Richard Dawkins, he was being ‘de-platformed’ by Pacifica Radio’s KPFA.

In contrast, Dawkins spoke last week at the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London, where he received a standing ovation and an award.

This conference’s purpose is

[to] discuss censorship and blasphemy laws, freedom of and from religion, apostasy, the limits of religion’s role in society, LGBT and women’s rights, atheism, secular values and more.

Speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, US and Yemen will gather in London to defend freedom of conscience and expression and argue that freedoms are not western but universal.

It’s innocuous internationalism and atheism, with one significant difference: these people support and offer a platform for ex-Muslims.

When ex-Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in London on Sunday, it was missing her thumb.

Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015.

(…)

The ceremony that recognised this brave woman had to be held in a secret location because London is no longer safe for ex-Muslims, atheists or even secular Muslim believers who dare to say that Islam should not be implemented as a system of laws.

Let that sink in: these people had to gather in an undisclosed location.. Not in Bangladesh, but in Britain.

The next time you hear or read about American atheists whining about eyeball oppression from the sight of crosses and Ten Commandment monuments, point out the state of things in the UK. I know I will.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism! —->>>>>